NMSU RB Turner declares for NFL draft

NMSU RB Turner declares for NFL draft

Published Jan. 20, 2012 11:51 a.m. ET

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New Mexico State running back Kenny Turner announced Friday that he has declared himself eligible for the 2012 NFL draft. Turner played two seasons for the Aggies as a running back and slot receiver, leading the team in rushing last season as a junior.

"First of all, I would like to thank Coach Walker, Dr. Boston and the N.M. State administration for giving me the opportunity to play Division I football at New Mexico State," Turner said. "Coming out of junior college, I had a few other offers to play Division I football, but after I visited New Mexico State, I felt that it was home and I felt that it was the right decision for me.

"This was a very difficult decision I had to make, but when it came down to it I was going to be 27 years old, and in the NFL and at the running back position, age is a factor. So I need to make the jump from college to the NFL. Again, I appreciate all the support and I enjoyed my time as an Aggie."

Turner led the Aggies with 1,074 yards rushing in 2011 --
becoming just the second NMSU running back since the 2000 season to
rush for over 1,000 yards --and averaged 82.6 yards a game, fourth best in the
WAC. Turner scored 10 rushing touchdowns and finished second on the team in receiving with 46 catches
for 514 yards and three touchdowns.

"I walked through this process with Kenny (Turner), explaining the pros and cons of declaring for the NFL," coach DeWayne Walker said, "and at the end of the day, it was his decision, and we will support him in any way we can to help him fulfill his dream of being an NFL player.

"He understands through this process that he must graduate, and Kenny promised me that he would take care of that piece of it. There is life after football, and he understands that as well. We hate to see him leave, but I do understand his decision and we are going to support it, and we want to make sure he graduates from college."

Turner leaves NMSU with 1,535 career rushing yards, leading the team in that category in both of his two seasons. As a sophomore, he had 461 rushing yards and two touchdowns before missing the latter portion of the season with a knee injury. He also was third on the team in receptions as a sophomore, hauling in 25 catches for 203 yards.

Turner spent his freshman year at Fullerton College before transferring to New Mexico State.